The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
IMDB- 9.1 (Initial rating.To be updated later)
RJG Ratings- 94
Bilbo and the dwarves continue their trek towards the misty mountains.
Starring- Martin Freeman,Richard Armitage,Luke Evans ,Ian McKellan
Director- Peter Jackson
Hobbit 2 is not a standalone movie at any cost.You HAVE to see the first part before seeing this one.
The cast do a wonderful job once again.Although its still very difficult for much focus to be given to the less prominent dwarves ,Peter Jackson does his best to get each one a good scene to shine.Martin Freeman does a good job as Bilbo.His character is slowly developed through the course of the movie ,giving him more opportunity to break free from the naive role he showed in the first movie.
Ian Mckellan has a very reduced role in the movie comparatively ,similar to his role in Two Towers.At times his role feels too stretched and unnecessary.Richard as Thorin once again gives a good performance.Orlando Bloom returns to the trilogy after a decade as Legolas.His role as a younger and more rash Legolas was great.Evangeline Lilly shines in the sole female role.Luke Evans as Barde was another excellent addition.
The story is once again stretched to the point of breaking.It doesnt have the smoothness of the earlier Lord of the Rings.Its quite easy to notice these stretch points ,and it sort of ruins the pace.But unlike the first part ,Jackson has tried his best to cover these points.A lot could have been edited out, and the 160min movie could have been reduced by 10-15min.
Another major issue was the abrupt ending.It was a complete cliffhanger situation.And once again the stretching issue plays a major part here.Hobbit 2's finale, will now only be taking place in Hobbit 3's starting.Its predictable though.
The character development was good ,and all the characters were well fleshed out.The real surprise ,was the love story that Jackson has tried to infuse into the story.
The visual effects once again take the center stage.The beautiful background and the exciting action sequences will leave you spellbound.But the real winner was kept for last!And yes ,its SMAUG.The dragon's grand reveal was hidden for months ,and getting to see Smaug in his full form ,with all the effects ,was definitely worth the wait!Every scene with him was intense and thrilling.
The action sequences were brilliant.Most noteworthy was the barrel sequence ,which was hilarious and exciting at the same time!The final portion (Laketown) was beautifully shot.
The fight choreography was awesome and hilarious at times!
Direction by Jackson was great ,but not upto his potential.While he successfully manages to capture the magic of Middle Earth with his eye for detail and lavish doses of visual beauty ,he stumbles with the story telling.The climax for example kept switching to multiple stories that reduced the impact of the exciting Bilbo-Smaug meeting.He wasnt really able to juggle the Gandalf story ,the Laketown story and the Bilbo story smoothly.
But Jackson did fix much of the pacing issues that hogged the first part.The second part was more focused on action sequences and the story, and it didnt let the excitement level drop at any point.
I might have sounded a bit harsh with the movie ,but you have to remember that its in the shadows of one of the greatest trilogies of all time-Lord of the Rings ,which at this point Hobbit will never outshine.
Overall Hobbit 2 was a GIANT improvement over the first part ,but it still isnt without its faults.A must watch whether you liked the first movie or not.
Visual Effects -5/5
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